Residential Mobility and Housing Policy – Continuity and Change in the Swedish Housing Regime

Investigating Spatial Inequalities

ISBN: 978-1-78973-942-8, eISBN: 978-1-78973-941-1

Publication date: 29 November 2019


Transaction costs, responsive housing supply, rent controls, tenant protection, and access to credit affect residential mobility – these different parts of housing policy are included in what has been defined as housing regimes, which embrace regulations, laws, norms, and ideology as well as economic factors. In this chapter, we investigate how these regimes change by using institutional theories of path dependence. We use Sweden as an example and study three Swedish housing market reforms during the past decades that may have affected residential mobility, each related to one of the main institutional pillars of housing provision: tenure legislation, taxation, and finance. More precisely, we study the development of the rental regulation since the late 1960s, the tax reform in 1991, and the new reforms on mortgages since 2010. What caused these reforms? What were the main mechanisms behind them, and why did they occur at the time they did? We argue, besides affecting residential mobility, these reforms have the common feature of including interesting elements of path dependence and forming critical junctures that have led the development on to a new path. Institutions of tenure legislation, housing finance, and taxation are often claimed to have effects on residential mobility. Although they are seldom designed with the explicit aim of supporting (or counteracting) residential mobility, they may sometimes do so as more or less unintended consequences.



Bengtsson, B., Håkansson, P.G. and Karpestam, P. (2019), "Residential Mobility and Housing Policy – Continuity and Change in the Swedish Housing Regime", Håkansson, P.G. and Bohman, H. (Ed.) Investigating Spatial Inequalities, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 139-158.

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © Bo Bengtsson, Peter G. Håkansson and Peter Karpestam, 2020

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